MapServer productivity tools.

Doyon, Jean-Francois Jean-Francois.Doyon at
Thu Nov 2 09:57:10 EST 2000

I would TOTALLY support this idea, as I like a lot of other people
obviously, also thought of it.

Perl/Tk seems like an bvious choice, but I'd like ot throw the idea of using
Java out there, possibly Swig'ifing MapServer with Java, as Dan had once
suggested (This would also allow for a MapServer for JSP's !).
And it would be even more truely cross-platform.

But aside form that technical detail, The functionality Robert describes
would be very handy indeed.

Another thing I've worked on in the past, is to have the mapfile stored
entirely (Or as much as possible) in an RDBMS. I allready did this actually,
and it works fine. I then use one of the MapScripts to get and build
maps/layers on the fly, based on given parameters.  The main idea behind
this was to allow web based management of the maps, layers, colors, symbols,
whatever. The tough part is making the whole system behave exactly like a
mapfile, keep track and dealing with changes in mapfile formats, and also
issues with some undocumented things.

And while I'm at it, providing a Perl Module/PHP Classes to provide an
interface to this system would also be very handy. An API if you will. Heck,
even the CGI version could support this.

I would be most interested in continuing (restarting ?) work on this since
I've had to put it on the back burner for a while.

Are we gonna have -utils mailing list now ? :)


> ----------
> From: 	Stephen Lime[SMTP:steve.lime at]
> Sent: 	Wednesday, November 01, 2000 10:23 PM
> To: 	RAldridge at
> Cc: 	mapserver-users at
> Subject: 	Re: MapServer productivity tools.
> I am working on an alternative to the ArcView method that uses MapScript
> and Perl/Tk. Again all it needs is some others to help out. Nice thing
> about this approach is the cross platform support (assuming mapscript can
> be compiled everywhere).
> Steve
> >>> RAldridge <RAldridge at> 11/01/00 16:52 PM >>>
> Steve,
> I agree that productivity tools for MapServer would be nice.  The ArcView
> apps for producing .map files are a good idea.  However, many of us are
> developing MapServer apps on Linux and I feel it would be nice to have a
> tool that works in Linux.
> That being said, it seems to me that we should be able to develop a .map
> file generator using ShapeLib with Python, PHP, C, or something.  You
> could use it to build a "view" using available shapefiles, images, and
> symbol files.  Once you have it looking like you want it, you could save
> the .map file.  The .map file would basically correspond to the .apr file
> in ArcView.  I would hope that the tool would allow you to open existing
> .map files, view them graphically, add/remove layers, change symbology,
> etc. and re-save the file.
> I know all of this is easier said than done, but I can't see any technical
> obstacles to doing something like this.  It's simply a matter of getting
> the people with the appropriate skills interested in the project.
> Perhaps, we should look at existing projects (OSSIM, ???) and see if they
> would be interested in providing for the functionality we need in their
> projects.  Frank Warmerdam (ShapeLib) told me sometime back that he was
> working on a "Shapefile Viewer/Editor" that would work on Linux.  Perhaps
> if his app can load/view images and shapefiles, he could simply add
> functionality to use MapServer symbol files and write out .map files.
> Keep us posted.  I'd like to see something developed in this area.
> Later,
> Robert Aldridge
> >Stephen Lime <steve.lime at> wrote:
> >
> >>From ??? Fri Feb 19 09: 25
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> >
> >>Seems one of the biggest holes in the MapServer application is the lack
> of tools for
> >>building and administering MapServer applications. Again this is an area
> where the
> >>group at large can help out. I know folks are using ArcView to build
> .map files. Cool,
> >>but why don't we get together and support a single version that is
> distributed via the
> >>MapServer web site? Could those doing this contact me off the list and
> I'll help 
> >>facilitate it?
> >>
> >>Other tools? Cough 'em up and let's get an archive going. I've got
> several MapScript
> >>tools for doing all sorts of things. I'm willing to reorganize the
> site's utils section to get
> >>this stuff out there.
> >>
> >>I've alsobeen writing a client application environment to allow
> higher-end applications
> >>to be easily created. The environment consists of an applet to display
> images (it has a
> >>few other features) and a javascript library to manage coordinates and
> layers. It tells
> >>the applet what image to retrieve and so on. Those components are just
> about ready
> >>for use, sans documentation. The first app I've built on top of these
> components can
> >>be previewed at:
> >>
> >> 
> >>
> >>You'll need version 4.5 or higher browsers to use it. (I haven't
> investigated older ones
> >>yet) This type of software is what I'd really like focus on, but will
> need help given all the
> >>other stuff that needs doing. This runs on top of the new 3.3.012 CVS
> version.
> >>
> >>Steve
> >>
> >>
> >>Stephen Lime
> >>Internet Applications Analyst
> >>
> >>Minnesota DNR
> >>500 Lafayette Road
> >>St. Paul, MN 55155
> >>651-297-2937
> >>
> >
> >----------------------
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> ----------------------
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